tv MSNBC News Live MSNBC January 10, 2010 8:00am-9:00am EST
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join the conversation at openforum.com. new this morning on "msnbc sunday" california earthquake. we've got a live report on the damage coming up for you. political stunner, several revelations in a new book. one, a new book reveals the word senator harry reid used in private to describe president obama. and the icy grip about to tighten around florida. a live report on when it could finally warm up. and a good sunday morning, everyone. i'm alex witt. 8:00 a.m. on the east coast, 5:00 a.m. out west. all that and a new development in the case of a missing arizona baby. a new interview this morning help investigators? we'll get to that. thousands are still without power after an earthquake in northern california. that quake struck yesterday afternoon off the state's
northern coast. u.s. geological survey says the quake registered with a magnitude of 6.5. no major injuries have been reported but there's a lot of cleanup inside the stores as you can see right here. for more let's go to my colleague here in the studio. good morning to you. >> good morning, alex. a lot of cleanup, indeed. this earthquake just really stunned the city of eureka, a coastal city. the quake lasted a little more than 30 seconds, but it did plenty of damage, especially at several stores. take a look at this. today workers will be cleaning up, picking up debris and restocking their store shelves. here's what one resident had to say about the quake. >> felt like one of the worst ones i've ever experienced but it was probably where i was living, you know. >> centered an estimated 13 miles deep offshore the u.s. geological survey said the 6.5 quake rocked the northern california city but was felt all the way north in central oregon, as far east as reno, nevada, and as far south as santa cruz, the
center struck 250 miles north of san francisco. as many as 25,000 people actually lost their power, although that number has significantly decreased now. gas leaks, however, and building damages were reported as well as some minor injuries. roughly a dozen aftershocks followed a few hours after the quake with the biggest registering at a magnitude of 4.5. lots going on. >> 4.5, that's enough to be felt, let alone this one. i mean that is a large, large earthquake, but do they expect any more of these major temlors? >> they're not expecting anything more significant but as you can imagine, it's certainly rattling a lot of nerves. >> thank you for that update on that california quake. for all of you in a few minutes, a live report from eureka for more on the damage. breaking news from london. britain's military says a u.s. marine and a british journalist have been killed in an explosion in afghanistan. now the ministry of defense says
that the sunday mirrors rupert hamer was killed when the vehicle they were riding in was hit by a makeshift bomb. the military did not say exactly when this incident occurred. a member of the afghan army was also killed in the explosion. the seemingly never-ending cold snap continues to produce more surprises, including how about snow in florida? it has been over 30 years since snow flurries were last seen there. in tampa, freezing rain turned some surfaces to ice. imagine how much fun that is for the drivers there, right? not. today another blast of arctic air is expected to drop temperatures into the teens and 20s. temperatures aren't stopping there because tonight, the temperatures could reach their lowest levels of the season. let's get to the work crews in nashville, tennessee, they responded to four burst pipes on saturday. officials say it appears the cold weather is what caused those pipes to break. we know that happens in new york a lot. the big chill continues across the midwest. in st. louis, missouri and
surrounding areas, it has not been above freezing since new year's eve. it's a pretty site there, that frozen fountain, but not the way it's supposed to look. that's nice for pictures for a little while. so the big questions continue to be when is it going to warm up? we go to the weather channel's jeff morrow joining me live from atlanta. do you have an answer, when is it going to warming up? >> depends on where you are, alex. in new york it might take a little longer, but i think for florida we'll warm up pretty quickly. we've got these windchill warnings out for parts of south florida with windchill advisories back over to new orleans, not a pleasant morning on bour bon street. these are the actual temperatures i'm going to put up on the screen here. it's about 30 degrees in orlando, but at least it isn't raining, snowing and sleeting as you mentioned yesterday. right now the windchill down here in the miami area is about 29 degrees. that's what it feels like to everybody who's down there. can you imagine going to disney
world or maybe universal studios? you weren't expecting that, i'm sure. atlanta, 13 straight days now that we've had below average high temperatures. the average as you can see here, 51 degrees. we've been nowhere near that. orlando nine straight days. montgomery, alabama, 15 straight days. here's what we're seeing a little bit of a temperature rebound here but we're still not up to average. the average high in atlanta is 51. we're only going go to stay in the 30s. down in orlando we'll get to the 50s. maybe that will feel like a heat wave. i'll tell you, what the pattern we have been with the cold air surging south here, that is going to change and it looks like our jet stream is going to lift up here a little bit by the middle of this week and we'll get more of a flow coming in from the west and even for those of you in the northeast, i think you might see a little warmup, but definitely the beleaguered south is going to be warming up and that's good news, particularly for the citrus crop down there in florida which is taking a hard hit this morning.
>> it is. you know what, jeff, we are already feeling that at the grocery store. i went last night and had to buy some orange juice, it's gotten more expensive seems in this past week. goodness knows where those prices are going to go. >> strawberries as well. all that. >> all plant city, you have been covering that for the weather channel. thank you so much. and we'll get more from you this morning. this terror hard to report, tragedy on the ice near atlanta. three teens tried walking across a frozen pond on saturday unaware of how the thin the ice was. they fell in. one was able to escape, ran for help for his two friends who struggled to get out of the water. emergency crews including a dive team conducted an exhaustive search. the boys were taken to an area hospital but did not survive their fall through the ice. the teen that ran to get lep is expected to make a full recovery. as we have been saying there's no escaping to florida to escape these cold temperatures. parts of the state is under a hard freeze warning and there are reports it might have snowed
in west palm beach. a live report in a few minutes and see if that is true. in an exclusive "meet the press" interview, california governor arnold schwarzenegger is encouraging lawmakers to vote against health reform. and he's taking particular issue with the concessions senator ben nelson grabbed for nebraska as senate leaders work to vote -- rather secure 60 votes. >> is that how you think about health care reform is something that would beat up on california? >> yes, it is. right now i cannot imagine why we would have, like i say, for instance, you know, our senators and congressional people, how they would vote for something like that, that they're representing nebraska and not us. by the way, as i said in my state of the state, that is the biggest rip off. that is against the law to buy a vote. >> you're talking about senator nelson. >> senator nelson. that's like buying a vote. >> the federal government will pay for their medicaid expenses.
>> em holding out my vote to get some benefits here. if you do that in sacramento you will be sued. it's illegal to do that. >> tune in to "meet the press" with david gregory's interview. check your local nbc listings for the time. police renewed their search for a woman who disappeared after being released from police custody in california. hundreds of volunteers combed through malibu canyon in the hopes of finding matrice richardson. police believe she is suffering severe bipolar disorder. she was arrested for allegedly not paying a restaurant bill. she vanished after she walked out of the police station at 1:00 in the morning. a police officer in alaska is recovering after being shot several times during an apparent ambush. he was sitting in his patrol car when he was shot several times early saturday morning. officials say the officer was targeted because of his job but don't think it was related to any particular case he was working on. the officer fortunately expected to recover. investigators are trying to
determine what caused a massive six-alarm fire that broke out in an apartment building in western massachusetts. it took the fire crews all morning to put out that blaze. seven people, including three fire fighters, were treated at a local hospital for minor injuries. officials say the fire is not considered suspicious at this point. the failed bombing of a u.s.-bound jetliner on christmas revealed gaping holes in our nation's security. coming up, we're talking to a terror analyst about what needs to happen to prevent another attack. and we continue to follow the situation in california where a magnitude 6.5 earthquake has hit near eureka. a live report next on "msnbc sunday."
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apologizing to president obama for newly revealed remarks he made about the president's race. be msnbc's mike viqueira at the white house for us. >> good morning, alex. >> we have to talk about these comments and this book that brought them to light. this is a jam-packed book so let's go. >> that's right. this is a potentially crippling blow to a politician, harry reid, senate majority leader, democratic leader for nevada, who's already fighting for his political life, alex. >> senator barack obama. >> reporter: leading up to the election in 2008, harry reid, leading senate democrat and vital obama ally, made a case for his fellow senator's presidential prospects in racially charged terms. as reported in the new book "game change" reid privately said that the nation is ready for a black president, especially one as, quote, light skinned as obama who speaks, quote, with no negro dialect unless he wanted to have one.
after his quotes became public reid issued a statement saying i sincere lie apologize for offending any and all americans especially african-americans for my improper comments. already behind in recent polls at home in nevada, as he fights to win re-election to the senate later this year, reid has worked closely with the president to guide the administration's agenda through congress with health care reform still in the balance. mr. obama was quick to accept reid's apology after the senator called him saturday, saying as far as i'm concerned, the book is closed. now, as congress prepares to return to session this week, many will be watching to see if a weakened and vulnerable reid can be effective. as it happens there was a poll conducted back home in nevada for harry reid, he doesn't even have one particular republican opponent, he has two or three, and he's down by as many as ten points. the reid camp will tell you as soon as he gets an opponent, he's sort of shadowboxing now,
he might be able to narrow that gap. it is an indication of the head winds all democrats are facing as we head into the mid-term election in 2010 and republicans are expected to gain. here, this man is the democratic leader of the senate. he's very high profiled, but he's incredibly unpopular in his home state and it's not for lack of money. he's raising money by the handful. the president has been expected to campaign for him, has fund raised for him in the past. this is not going to help him one bit. as this obama agenda moves through congress in the next couple weeks, particularly with health care, really going to be touch and go. a lot of people will be looking to see what kind of leadership harry reid can still exert on this. he's worked tirelessly behind the scenes and there's a lot of behind the scenes negotiating still to go, alex. >> mike, as you said, this is not going to help him at all but i'm sure he's hoping the head winds will blow over quickly. is there something the state of nevada can point to specifically with harry reid and his lack of
popularity right now? is it his being at the head of the health care reform bill in the senate or just the overall malaise that the state of nevada feels with the housing imploigs, unemployment, all of its that is feeling so hard? >> you're right. nevada has grown by leaps and bounds. henderson, nevada, the town outside of vegas, known as the largest growing city in the united states, they have been hit by the real estate bubble than most. there's a deeply conservative strain that runs through the mountain west and particularly in nevada. so harry reid has some problems to begin with, his high-profile leadership of the health care issue is another polarizing issue that could cost him votes on both sides of the debate. >> mike viqueira, get inside, looks a little chilly. another frigid day expected in florida. one of the big concerns there continues to be the state's prized crops. round the clock efforts are under way to protect the prized produce from freezing.
this as workers face a new worry this morning. the weather channel's julie martin joins me live from plant city, florida. you've been there earlier this week as well. let's talk about is it the strawberry crop that is so vital to that area and what are workers doing trying to save everything? >> absolutely, alex. it is the strawberry crop and this morning, farmers are doing everything they can to try to protect it from mother nature. the irrigation system you see going behind me, that's one of the ways they do that. the farmer here very little sleep overnight and he's expecting another sleepless night tonight into monday as well, as temperatures here are just abnormally cold. in fact, we're in the 20s this morning. all it takes is temperatures below freezing for about three or four hours for the damage to really set in. and at this point he says he is fully expecting some damage, not sure what the extent will be. of course for us that means could be damage to our pocketbooks for strawberries and citrus as it's not just here in plant city but across florida dealing with these brutally cold temperatures.
in fact, some snow reported yesterday in tampa and orlando. even a flurry or two in miami of all places where there's a windchill advisory in effect today. in the keys. as you can imagine, people here in florida not used to this stuff whatsoever, alex. >> yeah. quickly, wind, is that combining with things or at least is it calm on that front? >> the winds picked up a little bit just before sunrise this morning and that was a concern as well as the irritation system was not maybe perhaps blowing the water directly on to the plants. so some of those plants could be more vulnerable now. it's the buds, by the way, not the fruit that they're most concerned about. this is about a $400 million industry here in florida as far as strawberries, citrus a $9 billion one. a lot of money at stake here, alex. >> lot of hungry folks hoping things will be okay. julie martin, thank you so much. for more on the deep freeze in florida and across the country head to the weather channel's website.
weather.com. no major injuries after the earthquake in known california. approximately 25,000 people were left without power and a dozen aftershocks have occurred so far. we're joined by kntv garrvin's thomas. did you feel the quake? >> i didn't feel the quake. when it happened we were down in the bay area a couple hundred miles away, but there were people who reported feeling it, hundreds of miles away. of course depends on what you were doing at the time. folks here certainly felt it. even by california standards, around here they do get a lot of earthquakes, but earthquake veterans say this one scared them. we're in the old town of eureka, the older building up there, the brick has crumbled off that. much more typical damage across the street in this book store. this is book, used and rare books on second street. they will have a lot of cleanup to do. this typical of what we see in the stores in towns like eureka and arcadia in this area.
let's get you some of the latest numbers from this earthquake. you mentioned aftershocks. we have had more than a dozen aftershocks since the big 6.5 hit yesterday. in fact, we had an aftershock of 4.1 that just happened within the last couple of hours. now, damage as you saw, mostly broken windows, things thrown off store shelves, things going off the walls. no serious injuries reported yet but a number of people have showed up in the hospital with head injuries. it's a real common injury in an earthquake like this. things fall off the walls and people get hit in the head. nobody seriously hurt so far. i mentioned that people around here can be nonchalant about earthquakes. they said when this one started yesterday, they thought it was going to be another one, but as it got stronger up to 6.5 and particularly how long it lasted, as long as 30 seconds, well then they said that's when they really got scared. more than one person told us they thought this was going to be the end of it for them. and finally, alex, on that note, of power you said at the peak, 25,000 without power, the local
utility has been able to whittle that down to about 3400 now and expect to have most of them back on-line some time today. >> i'm an l.a. native and have been through a lot of earthquakes in my time and i'm surprised 6.5 didn't result in more personal injuries so i guess you got to say thank you for the silver lining on that. but anyway, i know it's a nuisance and mess and we thank you for bringing us up to date. a new book is shaking washington, d.c., to its core. "game change" making revelations about the 2008 presidential campaign including a team hillary clinton allegedly put together to rebuff rumors about her husband having an affair. we're going to take a look at all of it. an 8-month-old baby is missing. his mother under arrest. now two two people that police call persons of interest in the case are speaking out on the "today" show. what they have to say about 8-month-old gabriel johnson coming up on "msnbc sunday." . let's turn picturing it into planning it,
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the defense attorney for a new york man accused of traveling to pakistan for al qaeda training says authorities questioned his client illegally. the attorney says his client was integrated for two days without being allowed to see his family or a lawyer. medunjanin pleaded not guilty in federal court. he was arrested with another man friday in new york in connection with the terror probe involving naji bulazazi accused in a scheme to attack targets in new york city though he denies the charges. the arraignment of a nigerian man accused of trying to blow up a passenger zets has set off a criminal case that could lead to a plif plus sentence and prompted key senators to hold hearings on the incident. umar abdulmutallab is facing six charges including attempts to use a weapon of mass destruction. a not guilty plea has been entered. joining me here in studio is michael showhan. good morning to you, michael.
>> talk about the senate hearings scheduled to begin this month. we saw the hearings after 9/11. at that point the commission had two tasks, those being, michael to provide a reliable and thorough narrative of what went wrong on 9/11 and ways to prevent anything like it from ever happening again. what happened as a result of those hearings, what we learned from them and does it seem like there's been disconnect between then and now? >> in this case we have the narrative that's been out there, and recommendations. the administration is quick particularly in the last week to respond to that. i think in these hearings rather than everyone trying to figure out new ideas this is going to be the politics of terrorism playing out in these hearings. republicans continuing to pound the administration for being weak, without trying to go overboard, although that will backfire, and democrats trying to defend the administration for taking aggressive action, without trying to seem too weak. i think this hearing is going to be about politics.
>> these are about politics. how much does that make you think, great, that's going to solve the problem or not? >> well, i don't think it will, but hopefully out of all the political theater we expect out of these hearings, there will be some good ideas kicked around, specifically what is the intelligence community going to do to ensure the dots are connected in an area that the president said they failed in and what specific steps are going to take, where are the lines of accountability and responsibility talked about and there will be talk about aviation security as well. they've already taken some initiatives in that, some of the details will unfold about that and maybe some good ideas will come out of all the theater. >> i want it to get what is writtent in "washington post" by bruce hoffman, this is the quote from him. while al qaeda is finding new ways to exploit our weaknesses we are stuck in a pattern of belated responses rather than anticipating its moves and developing preemptive strategies. is that true or do you think this christmas day bombing attempt maybe has shifted we are focusing once again more acutely
on terrorism prevention? >> i think bruce is right and he's a long-time experienced counterterrorism analyst. i've known him many years. he's right. right now we're focused on aviation security which we're going to continue to have to focus on. but what bruce is saying while we focus on this past threat let's look around the corner, al qaeda is adoptive they're going to try to change, they know we're focused on aviation security, what are we going to do. one of the areas i've spoken to bruce about this in the past will al qaeda try to have some kind of improvised weapon of mass destruction, do we need to focus on radiological materials in the u.s., chemicals, biological pat though agains and look at more people more closely that have access to materials that can hurt us. we have to start thinking proactively and not just look at the last plot. >> michael, i assume that's what we were doing and i think there are a lot of americans who are right there with me. >> i think what i've talked about with you in the last week, alex, is i think we focus too much overseas on iraq, on afghanistan, and even when we looked at yemen, what is coming out of all of this in the last
week, is we've looked at yemen, but we're looking at attacks that were going to be overseas again, rather than a projection of the terrorist threat to the u.s. using western operatives like this british guy or nigerian with a british passport or americans within our midst. the major hassan killing reminds us in the u.s. there are people who can do us harm. i think it's going to be a focus away from those counterinsurgencies back to those people within our midst that can do us harm. >> michael sheen, always a pleasure, thanks. some of the heaviest snowstorms in a decade have hit china with snow drifts more than 25 feet deep and parts of england are covered under a blanket of snow and ice. live in london with what's goingen to there. the controversial show on mtv people love to hate, even new jersey lawmakers are trying to get it axed. just what is the appealing of "jersey shore" and if you have the answer can you tweet me, please, because i don't get it. where are you?!
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a new book on the '08 presidential race is dishing enough dirt behind the scenes to keep washington tongues wagging. "game change" has forced harry reid to apologize to the president already. here's what the book has to say about hillary clinton's '08 bid. it says she was convinced the obama campaign cheated in the iowa caucuses by importing voters from out of state. it alleges she called the choice between candidates obama and mccain a, quote, terrible choice for our nation and it says her advisers concluded bill clinton was having an affair and tried to come up with a strategy to deal with any public disclosures that might be made. i'm joined live from washington by "newsweek" magazine contributor eleanor clifts and politico reporter. and a good morning to both of you. >> happy new year. >> you too. >> here's how we start the new year dishing shall we say.
the writers of the book, "time" magazine's mark halperin, and john heilemann, they interviewed more than 200 sources and most were granted anonymity. is that going to affect the way this book is received, given what we're talking about in? >> everybody loves to gossip about the clintons and how many times have we heard rumors about affairs he may or may not have been having. i think "vanity fair" did a major piece. i don't see anything in here that's particularly incriminating and i think the way that hillary clinton has conducted herself as a local member of the obama administration and bill clinton has been also a loyal soldier, he hasn't got noon any trouble over the last year, i think that speaks volumes. i think this is fun for a day or a week to gossip about, but i really don't think it shakes the foundation of anything or anybody.
>> dough minco, same to you, what's your reaction? >> on the clintons it's not surprising that hillary clinton would have thought she was the best choice to be president of the united states. 123450 sure. >> it was a heated primary, it was one of the top stories that we followed this decade. she was a tough candidate and it's not really surprising at all that a lot of the stuff that, you know, that the clintons would have been tough and thought they should have been the ones picked. >> okay. let's get to another family grouping if you will. the edwards. eleanor, this book calls john edwards an ego monster and it paints elizabeth edwards in a highly unflattering light, said she was once on a conference call from staffers from her husband's political action committee and when she found out she and john's personal health coverage wasn't yet in place, then this quote, she flew into a rage, if this isn't dealt with by tomorrow everyone's health care at the pac will be cut off until it's fixed she barked i don't care if nobody has health care until john and i do.
what do you make of this, if there's going to be a fallout for the edwards family. this is a woman suffering cancer. >> right. and watching that campaign, i always thought that elizabeth edwards actually carried more about it than john edwards did it was kind of her lifeline, as long as she could hold on to that campaign she knew she was alive. i cut her a lot of slack and everybody who i know has been around her in any capacity comes away loving this woman. she made an instant connection with the public, so if she flew into a rage about something, so be it. again, i don't think that's going to change people's perceptions of her. and as far as her husband, i think people are already looking at him as a cad and i don't think he can appear in any better or worse light. i think his impression is set. >> yeah. well i flew into a rage yesterday during a commercial break, but let's not go there. >> okay. >> doughminco who gets it the
worse in the book, harry reid, the clintons, the edwardss and the obamas came out pretty unscathed. >> the clintons thinking bill clinton may have had an affair or something like that is not something that is surprising that the clinton campaign would have been prepared for anything. this was a prepared group. the edwardss have dealt with their fallout. john edwards has had to do how many mea culpas already. harry reid has to deal with his comments right now as it is. he has to face election this year. he's the most vulnerable democrat incumbent in the country right now that chris dodd has said he won't run for re-election, so harry reid still has to deal with his stuff. barack obama said he has forgiven him. nevada has 8% african-american population in the state. we'll see what happens, but i think harry reid is the person who has to deal with this the most now. >> lady and jents, thank you very much to both of you. elmore and dominico.
two persons of interest in the case of a missing arizona baby are talking to the "today" show. investigators believe jack and tammy smith know more they're letting on about the disappearance of 8-month-old gabriel johnson. the couple claims the boy's mother elizabeth offered to have them adopt the baby but the child's father was against it. that happened last month before elizabeth ran off with the boy and then arrested for failing to show up at a child custody hearing but no sign of the child. this morning the "today" show's jenna wolfe asked them, the persons of interest, if they have any information or knowledge as to where baby gabriel is? >> not any information that we haven't already disclosed to the fbi and i believe pretty much everything has been disclosed to you all too. >> but the first part of that question was, do we know where he is? absolutely not. we wish we did. this would all be over. >> joining me live, criminal profiler pat brown. pat, good morning to you. >> good morning, alex. >> okay. let's go through what we know so
far. the couple has voluntarily take an polygraph test to prove their innocence and we are waiting for the results of that. what is your reaction of them on the "today" show and the manner they shared it? >> the polygraphs are sharing. we're talking about two people who offered to take those polygraphs and did take those polygraphs and they didn't lawyer up and have them done in the back office with their private po lig gra fer will who come back and say they both passed. if they were guilty of knowing where this baby is, it seems kind of a bold move to take polygraphs and have to have two people pass them, not just one. >> i think that does speak volumes. let's get to the baby's mother elizabeth, she's in jail, police say is not cooperating and they say they are hopeful the baby is alive. what leads police to believe that? hope is one thing but they believe that baby is alive, what do you think? >> i have been boggled over this for the last week. i don't know where they're coming from with that where they
got information that shows the baby is some place. at this point if someone were hiding the baby, somebody took the baby in one of the networks where they're going to help an abused mother hide from her abusive boyfriend and they're trying to help her, they immediately know that this thing is going down. i can't imagine they wouldn't have come forth and said look, we took this baby in because the mother was distraught, we thought we would keep it for a few days and now we find she's been arrested and this is crazy stuff. we didn't know this. here's the baby. i can't believe anybody would risk the type of sentence they're going to get for kidnapping by not coming forth early on. i don't buy it. the mother, in her interview i've heard her, she has zero concern for this child whatsoever and she said, i killed that baby and i tend to unfortunately believe her. >> okay. jack and tammy smith supposed to adopt the baby. the mother runs away with the baby. let's listen to one more chunk from what they said on the "today" show. i want to get your read on it. >> sure. >> certainly the further we go into this the more we're
questioning the credibility of what elizabeth is saying at this point. in the very beginning we looked at the facts. the facts were a woman was at the end of her rope and needed to i guess relieve her self of the responsibility and we were trying to do that. but there was no -- nothing else in there and we were going to do due process, it was months -- would have been months away before the process would have gone through. so we knew we had time to really see what was going on here. >> sure. so pat, welcome line, sounds like a culp that knows more than what they're saying. >> i think they got themselves in something way over their heads and believed elizabeth, she's very manipulative and has that face of an angel and i've seen women like that before and they can get you to believe a whole bunch of stuff. you just buy into their -- the story they're giving and you feel so bad for them that you want to help and i think that they are telling the truth, at least as far as i know. i don't see any reason why they would be doing that. >> i think you can take the word
ma nip lative and say she is disturbed. we'll leave it at that for now. >> pat brown, thank you. and tempe, arizona, police are asking anyone with information about gabriel to call the national center for missing and exploited children, the number 1-800-the-lost. >> powerful winds and snow in europe forced flights to be canceled and in germany icy streets blamed for more than 300 car accidents. can you imagine that? forecasters predict no letup in britain's harshest cold snap in 30 years. tom aspell is in london along the river thames with the latest. good morning to you. what's it been like out there today? >> good morning, alex. it's very cold. weather experts are saying maybe the atlantic jet streams have been displaced and others say perhaps el neen yo is to blame. everyone agrees it is very cold. this is a nasa picture from space showing britain covered by
snow and ice. it's the coldest winter in 30 years. major sporting events have been canceled, soccer stadiums are empty. heavy snow has disrupted train schedules, delayed or canceled hundreds of flights and blocked roads. supplies of sand and salt to deice highways are running dangerously low. normally britain's winters are moderate with rain, but this cold snap has caught everyone unprepared. >> very cold, indeed, but keep the heat on and the hot water going through the pipes it's survivable. >> reporter: across europe the misery is shared by millions as arctic winds sweep down from the north. in norway, 19 degrees below zero. it didn't stop a young bridegroom celebrating his stag party by going swimming. in holland skaters turned out for a 15 mile race. in france, it's a winter wonderland, but not quite cold enough to make paris lose its charm. >> it is cold.
but it's also very romantic. >> reporter: in germany, trucks are backed up on the highways and there are long delays at airports. >> we don't know when, when we'll be in poland. so we are angry. >> reporter: weather forecasters say a block of cold air is stalled over northern europe. the big chill looks likely to continue. when the snows melt there may be other problems, floods. alex? >> something to look forward to, not. thank you very much. tom aspell in london. "american idol's" ninth season premiers with new judge ellen degenerous. could this be the last season with hot head simon cou well? we'll get a preview next on "msnbc sunday." hello. i'm wearing my older sister's jeans that she ruined with bbq sauce... or so i thought. see, my mom washed them with this tide stain release in-wash booster stuff. she's all, "you use it with your detergent to help get stains out the first time." are you kidding me?
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editor in charge for "life and style" magazine. good morning. >> i know that to be true. my son tried to go, sold out completely, fans are still flocking to this, why? >> because it's a good movie, got an amazing word of mouth. this is one of mows movies you have to see on the about ig screen. the 3d is so amazing. you feel like you're exploring this alien world and you forget you're not a part of this movie. it's been an international sensation. we are talking number two globally, only behind "titanic." james cameron is really the king of the world. >> trying to figure out what his next line is going to be. i'm reaching over to get your "life and style" magazine. here it is. this is "life and style" magazine, talking "jersey shore." >> how could we not? everybody is talking "jersey shore." >> why? >> controversial, scandals, fights, i mean it's just the most amazing, train wreck of a show. but people are obsessed. i mean, you know, of course a lot -- some advertisers have
dropped out. there has been a lot of controversy about this. it's wildly popular. our readers at "life and style" weekly are interested and it's probably going to be back for another season. we got lots of details on the different fights what went on behind the scenes what you didn't make it to the show, the possibility that a sex tape or two might exist, all sort sorts of crazy stuff. >> i asked for tweet, can someone tweet me if you can understand the appeal of this show. i did get some tweets, i can't quote them, one was saying, it's a really good show. it's compel. do you think it's good tv? >> how do you define "good" alex? >> a train wreck can be good tv? >> it's compelling, it certainly moves. you never know what's going to happen. i think that's a part of the appeal of it, especially in a world where we have so much scripted reality tv, like okay this is not scripted. >> it's not real but now what's going to happen. >> like say, what are they like "the hills." >> those are scripted. >> these five kids, on the
jersey shore, over the course of their summer. >> okay. >> you know, of course people find it wildly offensive, saying it's too much stereo typing, but what it is, it's just these people experiencing -- >> doing their thing. >> like a wacky documentary. >> okay. >> let's move on to "american idol" because this is going to be fun with ellen degeneres this week. do you think fans will be there in the droves they have been? >> that's the big question. "american idol" still on top after all of these years with all of these change-ups they've been lose something viewers. that said, everybody loves ellen. i don't think you're going to find a person that doesn't love ellen. we're not going to be seeing her until february. we're going to be seeing some of the guest celebrity judges like victoria beckham and mary j. blige over the next few weeks when doing those crazy audition rounds. >> the big build up. we'll get to ellen and to you again later this morning. dawn, thanks. >> thanks, alex. starting tomorrow a new lineup at msnbc. 9:00 a.m. eastern right after "morning joe" the premier of
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the latest retail numbers suggest that consumers are slowly regaining confidence. on-line sales of discount stores continue to thrive while high priced retailers are struggling. who are the winners and losers and what can we expect in the months to come? rick newman with "u.s. news and world report" joins us in studio. good morning. >> hi, alex. >> retail winners. >> discounters so this is not surprising, of course. >> right. >> this is bj's, costco and things like this. what's interesting is we're seeing the sort of trends beneath all of this and i think the big question is, what is going to happen to consumers once the recession really is over? i mean is this going to be a new normal, will we go back to the
way things used to be? i think we're starting to see signs in what's happening. so the posterchild for the recession is abercrombie one of the hottest stores going and their formula isn't working anymore. the merchandise is not distinctive and too expensive. >> there was a sense of arrogance at the outset when everybody was lowering their prices, if not offering tremendous deals and abercrombie was holding firm and it was like really? is that going to work for you. >> betting on the old strategy, draw people with the edgy ads in advertising, this image. >> image is powerful. >> image and brand strength. it's not working. people will respond to that, but not if the price is too high. that's what we're learning. you have to offer people value and they'll buy your stuff. >> okay. so that being an example of a loser, but what about the large department stores the sachs, knee mam marcuss? >> they're muddling along and ones coming up with aggressive new strategies are the ones succeeding. we saw nordstrom has a great
brand, strong identity and they're bring something cheaper merchandise in still trying to distinguish themselves as an upscale store and they have the off price chain nordstrom rack that's working. they turned out to be one of the winners. jc penney stuck in the mid-market there. some of its customers are probably trading down to discounters, not getting the customers looking for a more refined experience and their sales were down a lot. >> what about what people are going to spend their money on? >> everybody wants to know that. >> i'm sure. put it out there so they can buy it. >> some of the trends, people are just not likely to pay for bells and whistles anymore. think about a netbook computer, for example. it does mostly everything you need, it won't do a lot of fancy stuff, but i think people are saying, i don't really need the fancy stuff and don't want to pay the extra couple hundred bucks anymore to get stuff i'm not sure i'm going to use. i think we're going to see this in every kind of digital gismo, cell phones in particular. just give me what i need, the basics. seeing it in products like tide,
for example, has rolled out a discount version of tide. that's a test. >> seen that. >> procter & gamble would really prefer not to do that. they want to keep people in the more expensive product but people are saying i don't need it. why should i pay extra. >> we need you around here. see you again later. thank you. still ahead, thousands in california are without power after a 6.5 earthquake. we're live with the latest on that. it's the gook that's got tongues wagging in d.c. "game changers" offer up tidbits about what went on during the 2008 presidential campaign. you might not believe what you hear. those stories and more when we come back on "msnbc sunday."